Jamie Whincup will never wear a crown.
While he has long been considered the ‘King of Townsville’, it is a title the 15-year veteran rejects.
Whincup stood atop the podium on the very first race at the Reid Park hybrid circuit, and he has been on the podium a further 17 times from 25 races.
It is an enviable record that will likely never be touched.
Watch every Supercars practice, qualifying session and race Live & Ad-Break Free during racing with FOX SPORTS on KAYO. New to Kayo? Get your free trial now & start streaming instantly >
But the Red Bull HRT driver refuses to pay attention to it. Instead he is just focused on his work this weekend in the Robson Civil Projects Townsville Supersprint.
The No.88 Commodore never goes in reverse.
“We have had a good run in the past, but as I always say history doesn’t guarantee you anything heading into a big weekend of racing,” Whincup said.
“We are not thinking of what we have done, we are thinking about what we can do and the possibilities this weekend.
MORE MOTOR SPORT
“If you sit on your hands and don’t move forward, you get gobbled up by the rest of the field. If we don’t make a gain this week, we will fall back into the pack. Our goal is to keep moving forward.”
The evergreen Whincup, who celebrated his 500th race earlier this season, is again locked in a two-horse battle with Shell V-Power’s Scott McLaughlin for the Championship.
He shortened the Kiwi’s lead at the top to 119 points with a round win at Townsville last weekend and is determined to keep chipping away at the gap. In fact, Whincup believes it is his duty.
“We feel like it is our responsibility as a team to make sure the championship goes right down to the wire and the last event in Bathurst,” he said.
“We are doing the best we can to hang in there and take away points from the team that has been the best performer the last couple of years. It is about making the car faster and me not making any mistakes.
“We were able to do it last week, but it is important we keep our focus and do it again this weekend.
“We have prepared well. Having the week off, we haven’t been distracted by the usual things in life. We have had a good opportunity for some (rest and relaxation) after last weekend. The body feels good and we feel prepared. We are just trying to make the car quicker than it was last week.”
Whincup finished with two poles for two wins last weekend, and he knows just how important it is to be on the front row of the grid in a shortened race at the Reid Park circuit.
It is why the Triple Eight Engineering team have used the week in Townsville to pore over their racing data and tweak the machine to find even more one-lap speed.
“We have been filtering through that data all week and we have some ideas on how to move forward. Hopefully those ideas are a step forward not a step backward,” he said.
“There were certainly some areas we thought were areas to improve on, which certainly showed up in the data.
“I think experience plays a part of course, (but) that is what everyone when they are getting toward the end of their career says. But you can’t beat youthful exuberance at the same time.
“I have had a great week, I am feeling as young as ever, I feel fresh. We have got 11 or 12 years’ worth of laps around here to put ourselves in the right position.”